Review: December In Red – The Way Out

December In Red - The Way Out Album Cover art
Artist: December In Red
Album: The Way Out
Rating: 9/10

Everything you hear on the radio these days seems to blend together after awhile, right? That is, until you come across bands like Nothing More, From Ashes to New and December In Red, who take it to a new level. Experimenting with everything they love about music, they set themselves above the rest. Bringing the catchy, melodic angst of Incubus, the tribal flavor of Tool and the intensity of modern metal… you get December In Red. This band has been described as “A Perfect Circle meets Deftones with Layne Staley singing”. Not knowing what to expect when I first popped this in my car’s CD player, I was prepared for just about anything… anything but this. That quote above perfectly describes this band. In essence, that is EXACTLY what they sound like… but at the same time, you can tell they’re trying to be anything but a copy of other bands. Their debut album, The Way Out is fully energized, explosive and full of things that can easily take them higher in this mountain that they call the music industry.

The intro “The Call” pulls you in immediately, as you find yourself wandering through a hall… scared to death, not knowing what lies around that next corner. Ever-searching for The Way Out. This album tests the limits of your mind… you find yourself led through a musical labyrinth, met by twists and turns along every corner… how will you survive? Your initial contact with vocalist Del McGeachy’s incredibly talented voice in “Hooks and Splatters” sends a familiar chill down your spine. You feel as if you’ve heard his voice before… but at the same time, it feels 100% evolved from what you remember of it. This is the familiarity you feel within the influence of the aforementioned bands above.

The album is unrelenting with tracks like their hit single, “Send Me A Postcard”. The video for the song has been dominating in Loudwire’s Battle Royale, which just finished out at the #3 spot behind Tom Kiefer and The Darkness. It seems that this track focuses on the constant struggle to get out of a bad way of life. As you watch those near you escape this type of life, you are stuck alone… feeling confused but happy knowing that there are people overcoming the things that are harmful to them. This song could have a subjective meaning but that’s what I get out of it.

As you’re taken further and further out of the dark, you begin to see a light… but is it the light you’ve been searching for? At first listen, you’d think that this track is about a car crash. “In one night, our worlds collide and ignite and just as the flash begins, the earth ceases to spin, we begin again”, these lyrics sound an awful lot like a car crash, right? Well, as luck would have it, that’s where you’re wrong. As you go further into the song, you realize that it’s about a burning love that 2 characters in the story experience. That one true love that most long to find in their lifetime. It’s really a beautiful song and it’s told in such a beautiful way through both the lyrics and the music.

Another one of my favorites gets its title from a Street Fighter reference, “Hadouken”. This track focuses on the subject of karma or, “what goes around comes around”. It’s a bit on the heavier side so… if you don’t enjoy screaming, you may not enjoy this song. As an avid fan of metalcore, I happen to love it. The odd thing about this particular track is that, in the middle of it, there seems to be a guest vocalist… a rapper, at that. It plays perfectly into the violent and angry nature of this track… a wonderful choice on the part of the band.

The final track, “Don’t Look So Surprised” focuses on the subject of death or the dying. As our fugitive looks upon the light on the horizon, he realizes that his escape was “too little, too late”. He cries out to his family, his friends and all around him saying “remember the light times, spread me out (sing all my favorite songs)”, indicating his wish to be cremated. All he wanted in this world was to make a mark, in truth, that’s all any of us ever want. He feels he failed and he’s begging to be forgiven for leaving everyone in the dark about being sick.

After listening to this album, it became clear to me that this is much more than an album. This is a story about someone’s struggle with something much darker… whether it be an addiction, cancer, dementia…. something much bigger than him was happening. The Way Out focuses on his need to escape it all and how, in the end, death catches up to us all.. no matter how hard we fight it. I always love albums that have lyrics that I can connect with and, being that my family has had several dealings with cancer… it speaks to me in a way that few ever can. If you’ve ever felt like you need The Way Out, start with this album… maybe you’ll find the hope that I have found in it and change your mind. As hard as the struggle may be, there are always going to be people there for you… never forget that! Pick up The Way Out now on CaviGold Records and catch them on tour supporting the album, dates below!

buyThe Way Out
iTunes | PledgeMusic | Amazon

“Send Me A Postcard” (Official Music Video)

Visit December In Red on Social Media
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The Way Out Tour feat. (Hed)p.e.
5/22: Red Room – Saginaw, MI
5/23: The Bull Pen – Hillsboro, WI
5/24: Every Buddy’s Bar – Chippewa Falls, WI
5/26: The Metal Grill – Milwaukee, WI
5/28: Aftershock – Merriam, KS
5/29: Outland Ballroom – Springfield, MO
5/30: Crown Uptown – Wichita, KS
5/31: The Vanguard – Tulsa, OK
6/2: The Rock – Tucson, AZ
6/3: Tiki Bar – Costa Mesa, CA
6/10: Studio Seven – Seattle, WA